Here's The Amount Of Exercise That Lowers Breast Cancer Risk

After launching a campaign to educate women about breast cancer, cosmetics company Avon discovered that a worrying number of women don't know the early signs of breast cancer.

It revealed that less than half - 42 per cent – were confident that they knew what changes to look for in their breasts and that a quarter of women thought that a lump was the only sign.

The findings are from a survey of 19,000 women who, when asked to identify 10 common symptoms of breast cancer, just two per cent could.

Woman  © Getty Woman  And, although a huge 73 per cent said they regularly check their breasts, a worrying 60 per cent said they would be hesitant to seek medical advice out of embarrassment or fear. 

In addition, the majority of women surveyed were unaware that their lifestyle choices could put them at greater risk.

Related: 50 Foods That Slash Your Cancer Risk (Eat This, Not That!)

April BenshosanAlthough there’s no guarantee any of us won’t fall victim to the big C, adding these cancer-fighting foods to your diet is a smart step. Finding out you have cancer can be one of the most distressing and defining moments of a person’s life. And, unfortunately enough, the stark picture of doctors forced to break the news is all too common. It is estimated that 39.6 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lifetime.Fortunately, there are ways to avoid becoming a statistic. Steering clear of excessive use of tobacco and alcohol, getting immunized for certain viral infections like Hepatitis B and HPV, as well as changing your diet are all potent ways to slash your risk of getting diagnosed. And while there’s no guarantee of living cancer-free, replacing fried foods, processed meats, and sugary treats with our 50 foods that are scientifically-proven to cut your cancer risk is a wonderful way to start. Check out the restorative foods below, and then don’t miss our exclusive report on 50 Doctor’s Own Breast Cancer Tips.>

Almost two thirds didn’t know that regular exercise could help protect against cancer, while 63 per cent were unaware that alcohol is linked to a higher risk of the disease.

“Early detection is crucial to fighting breast cancer, yet our survey found that women don't know their risks or what signs to look for,” said Sheri McCoy, chief executive of Avon.

”We want to change this lack of knowledge by using the power of our global network of women - six million Avon representatives and more than 26,000 associates - and our breast cancer partners, to educate women.“

Mammogram  © Getty Mammogram  Dr Paul Goss, chairman of the Avon Foundation scientific advisory board and Director of breast cancer research at Massachusetts General Hospital, added, ”These figures show just how much work still has to be done in raising awareness of breast cancer, particularly its signs, risks and how to act on concerns about it.”

So, what are the signs and symptoms that you should be looking for?

Women are advised to check their breasts each month - aside from a lump, other signs of breast cancer include a change in breast size or shape, a rash or skin sores, nipple discharge, skin indentation, constant pain or a change in skin texture. 

Similarly, swelling around the armpit or collarbone could be an indicator, as can a growing vein or inverted nipple.

If you notice any symptoms of breast cancer, the NHS advises that you see your GP as soon as possible. After examination, your GP will then refer you to a specialist breast cancer clinic if they feel your symptoms need further assessment.

Gallery: 4 foods that can help reduce your risk of breast cancer [Prima UK]

Olive Oil: On top of all the other health benefits already linked to olive oil, the healthy fat may also be useful in reducing breast cancer risk. A September 2015 study found that adding 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to a diet rich in fruits and veggies could lower breast cancer risk by 68%.And that's not all: olive oil may come with an additional benefit relating to breast density, which is another risk factor for breast cancer. A 2014 study of more than 3,500 women found that consuming an extra 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil each day was associated with lower breast density.>

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Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are the author's own and MSN does not endorse them in any way. Neither can MSN independently verify any claims made in the article. You should consult your physician before starting any weight loss or health management programme to determine if it is right for your needs.

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